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Ryanair's Return: 1,000 flights a day by July 1, with passenger masks and temperature checks

"After four months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work, and restart Europe’s tourism industry," Ryanair says

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Screengrab: Ryanair / YouTube

Screengrab: Ryanair / YouTube

Screengrab: Ryanair / YouTube

Ryanair will restore 40pc of its scheduled flights from July 1, with passengers asked to wear face masks and pass temperature checks, it says.

The return would see almost 1,000 flights a day across 90pc of its "pre-Covid network", subject to government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted and effective public health measures being put in place at airports.

Flights from July 1 are now available to book from €19.99 each way.

Since Covid-19 flight restrictions were put in place in mid-March, Ryanair has been operating just 1pc of its normal services - "a skeleton daily schedule" of 30 flights between Ireland, the UK and Europe.

A video released by the airline gives a glimpse of what flying could look like this summer, with passengers taking temperature checks and wearing face masks or coverings in terminals and on board aircraft.

It advises passengers to check their own temperatures before leaving home, and says temperature checks may also take place at airports: "If you don't pass those, you will be required to return home", Ryanair says.

"As already shown in Asia, temperature checks and face masks/coverings are the most effective way to [limit the spread of Covid-19] on short haul within Europe’s single market," said Ryanair CEO, Eddie Wilson.

The carrier does not suggest who would operate or pay for such checks, however.

Other changes may include fewer checked bags, downloading boarding passes to smartphones to eliminate paper touch points, and encouraging social distancing at airports and onboard "where it is possible".

All onboard transactions will be cashless, Ryanair says, queuing for toilets will be prohibited ("although toilet access will be made available to individual passengers upon request"), and a limited inflight service will be available.

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"Be assured that all Ryanair aircraft are professionally cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis, which is effective for more than 24 hours," the video says.

Cabin crew will also wear face masks/coverings, Ryanair adds.

The announcement comes as airlines all over the world look to new health and safety protocols - to protect customers and crew, prevent coronavirus from spreading and reassure passengers for when travel resumes.

Air France, KLM and Lufthansa have already made masks compulsory on flights, for example, while Emirates recently said it was the first airline to conduct "rapid Covid-19 tests" on passengers.

However, the question of how health controls will be agreed and paid for - by airlines, airports or coordinated by national governments or the EU, for example - is being hotly debated within the industry.

“It is important for our customers and our people that we return to some normal schedules from 1 July onwards," Ryanair's Wilson added.

"After four months, it is time to get Europe flying again so we can reunite friends and families, allow people to return to work, and restart Europe’s tourism industry, which provides so many millions of jobs."

As a temporary further public health measure, while EU states emerge from Covid-19 lockdowns, Ryanair will also require all passengers flying in July and August to fill in details (at check-in) of how long their planned visit will be, and also their address while visiting another EU country, it says.

This information will be provided to EU governments "to help them to monitor any isolation regulations they require of visitors on intra-EU flights".

"We will continue to work closely with public health agencies to encourage our people and passengers to adopt practical and effective steps to limit the spread of [the] Covid-19 virus, in the best interest of our passengers, our people and our communities,” Wilson said.

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